“God was our catalyst to be less self and more others,” said Karen.
Leaving solitude behind
“We wanted to reach out to the community in Anderson,” said Rick. Their house sold within three days of being put on the market, not that it was a simple decision. “We decided together with a lot of crying,” said Rick, but they both bear an air of satisfaction with that decision.
“We lived in solitude out there, coming here, we’re part of our surroundings, we’re more involved,” said Karen.
“I do all the gardening,” said Rick, who learned to garden as a child. “Every time I plant something, I pray and God blesses it.”
Rick continues to work full time as a construction operator of heavy equipment.
“It’s not all roses,” Rick admits. Even after a tough day at work, though, he said, “When I get out here (in the garden), then it’s all okay.”
Turns out, Karen isn’t really into the gardening – she enjoys the people.
“I don’t plant. I don’t water. I don’t weed. But I pick because I want to go to market,” said Karen with a big smile. She said she loves the reactions and how excited people are to get fresh home grown vegetables.
The couple, married 34 years, named their urban endeavor NERKA Faith Farm. NERKA is an acronym for Niki – Eli – Rick – Karen – Amanda. That includes their two children, Niki, 33, and Eli, 28, as well as Eli’s fiancée, Amanda. Enoch, the Hersbergers' Bernese mountain dog isn't part of the name, but he's definitely part of the operation.
“It’s still a process,” said Rick. He said that right now, “Our mission’s right here, helping the community.” Neither he nor Karen knows where the mission will take them. Rick noted, “We just keep growing in our spiritual walk with God.”
You can find NERKA Faith Farm on Facebook.
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